Microsoft Garage's Clip Layer aims to improve Android's copy-paste abiltiies

If you've ever tried to copy/paste text and between two Android apps, then you're surely aware that the process is a bit unreliable at times. Recognizing this as a setback for productivity-minded users, the Microsoft Garage experimental app studio has just launched an app that promises to streamline the process. Meet Microsoft's new Android app, Clip Layer.

According to Microsoft, the idea for Clip Layer came from Steve Won, a senior designer in the Office team with close ties to the Microsoft Garage division. Won, who previously authored the Hub Keyboard app, says that he became frustrated that some Android apps do not allow the user to copy content. Even worse, when copying is allowed, the process is not very intuitive nor is it customizable. In an attempt to fix what Won perceived to be a limitation, he got the idea to create Clip Layer, an Android app aims to make it much easier to copy/paste content between apps.

Clip Layer creates a universal overlay on top of any Android screen. All the user has to do is activate Clip Layer via the home button, select the content that needs to be copied, and then copy it to the clipboard. From this point on, the contents of the clipboard can be pasted in any app, such as email, IM, or social media.

If this sounds like a solution to a problem you've encountered before, make sure to give Clip Layer a chance. It's completely free, so just head on over to the source link below and install it on your Android device. 

PhoneArena is on Instagram. Follow us to stay updated with fresh news and flashy media from the world of mobile!

source: Clip Layer



1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

This is great. Copy and paste on Android is so bad.

3. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 924; Member since: May 07, 2014


8. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No he has a point, it needs to be more consistent. I mean with all the multi-window and full desktop style OS coming in, it will be a desperately needed feature. If Google is serious about merging the two like in a continuum style fashion then they need to work on this. MS is the only one who has it done right for now, iOS fans don't need to worry about it because they aren't going to get any real features for another half a decade.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Copy/pasting text in Android is alas not really smart (granted in iOS it isn't either) and moving those start and end points is a drag. This solution does look nice, but I'll stick to clipboard actions

16. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

moving start and end points is much easier on bigger screen.... and it's much much more easier using S-pen... (suddenly I miss my note4 :-( )

11. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Highlight, click copy, long press hit paste? Is that 'bad'?

13. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3147; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Grasshopper, the OG iPhone had NO copy & paste. There's always room for improvement, even if it is Android. You want good C & P functionality? Try BB OS10 where you also get the ability to do a web search for your highlighted text - natively.

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I don't think anything can compare to the BlackBerry when it comes to something like that. I think Apple has come a long way with their C&P. I like what Samsung does with theirs on the Note series.

2. aman5mathur

Posts: 241; Member since: Mar 28, 2014

Not that much I use pushbullet to copy paste across all my devices. It can copy paste between your smartphone and tablet or even laptop simultaneously. You just need to stay signed in.

4. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Crap! I downloaded this just to see what it is like and can't figure out how to reset the previous settings. I uninstalled the app. But Google Assistant doesn't show up anymore nor screen search. Any help? Damn app!

5. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Figured it out. Fuck that was way complicated.

6. TBomb

Posts: 1560; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

well you got me to not try it out haha

9. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Lol well it needs a permission to override Google Assistant and Screen Search (on Pixel atleast). So I allowed it. was cool but then noticed those two things didn't work so I uninstalled but couldn't figure out how to reset those settings. After like 15 minutes of intense searching I found it. But it was stressful because I didn't know where to look on the settings!

7. Tizo101

Posts: 566; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

I'm always copying and pasting... so what's the problem exactly? And I've found it reliable (because every time I copy, it copies and every time I paste, it actually does it)

12. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I too do not get the copy/paste issue of Android, as mentioned in this article... I do it all the time without any inconvenience, even whilst in multi-window mode.

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I also don't have a problem with android cut and paste, granted its only serviceable. I think I will just install Microsoft Garages to find out what it could do.

15. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

The author sounds so desperate to paint this app like it's a fix for something broken in Android. I've never had issues copy/pasting text between apps on my OnePlus One wherever the app allows it. I've only further enhanced the process with utility apps Easy Copy (simply the best clip board manager I've ever used on ANY platform) + Universal Copy (allows copying text anywhere an app/website restricts it, easily initiated via notification area) in ways I could never do on my iPhone. This Clip Layer is just an alternative to Universal Copy...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.